Morning Must Reads for Friday, January 20, 2017

Good Friday morning, and Happy Inauguration Day from Salt Lake City. Today is the 20th day of the year. There are 345 days remaining in 2017.

Less than half of Utahns have a favorable opinion of Donald Trump as he is set to take office. Jon Huntsman says Trump will have a very short honeymoon after taking office. U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating possible communications between the Russian government and Trump’s associates. 

The clock:

  • Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President today (1/20/2017)
  • 3 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 48 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 291 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 655 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1383 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Friday:

  1. Not Utah’s favorite. As Donald Trump gets set to take the reins of the country today, only 47% of Utahns view him favorably. Outgoing President Barack Obama is only viewed favorably by 41% of Utahns [Utah Policy].
  2. Who, what, when, where and why. Rep. Mike Winder joins Bryan Schott for our rundown of the top stories in Utah politics from this week [Utah Policy].
  3. Today is day one. Donald Trump is scheduled to take the oath of office around 9:47 Utah time this morning and will begin his speech around 9:51 according to the schedule circulating around Washington, D.C. Trump’s swearing in will give Republicans unified control of the White House and Congress for the first time since 2006 [Washington Post]. Here’s a “who’s who” of the new Trump White House [The Hill]. Workers have just under five hours to completely move Obama’s stuff out of the White House and move Trump’s things into his new home [Washington Post]. 
  4. Whoa! American law enforcement and intelligence groups are scrutinizing intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of their probe into possible links between Russian officials and associates of Donald Trump [New York Times].
  5. New administration delays. As Donald Trump takes office, critics say his transition team is leaving much of the federal government short staffed. Trump’s team has asked 50 Obama administration officials in the State Department to stay on the job until their replacements can be found [New York Times]. Senate Democrats will only allow two of Trump’s Cabinet members to be confirmed on the day he takes office [Washington Post].
  6. Big protest. Washington, D.C. officials are bracing for as many as 400,000 protestors on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington [Wall Street Journal].
  7. Watch your mouth. Sen. Orrin Hatch cautioned Democrats not to attack Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Treasury Department [Tribune]. Mnuchin came under fire during his confirmation hearing for his role with a California bank that aggressively pursued foreclosures on delinquent customers during the mortgage crisis [Washington Post].
  8. Good luck with that. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says Donald Trump will have a very short time frame to convince both Republicans and Democrats to get behind his agenda after he takes office [Deseret News].
  9. Whoops! According to emails, Rep. Jason Chaffetz skipped a December meeting with Walter Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics. Previously Chaffetz chided Shaub for not meeting with him after Shaub threw shade at Donald Trump’s ethics [Tribune].
  10. Big trouble in little Utah. A state audit blasts the Utah League of Cities and Towns for lax financial controls. Ken Bullock, the group’s executive director, resigned in the wake of the audit as did other officials [Tribune, Deseret News]. 

On this day in history:

  • 1265 – Britain’s House of Commons met for the first time.
  • 1783 – U.S. and British representatives signed a preliminary “Cessation of Hostilities,” which ended the fighting in the Revolutionary War.
  • 1942 – Nazi officials arrived at a “final solution” that called for exterminating Europe’s Jews, during a conference at Lake Wannsee in Berlin.
  • 1981 – 52 American hostages were released by Iran after 444 days in captivity.